Commentary Magazine


Elegy

I must find a stranger to knock on my door.
For one month I have lain on my couch
    waiting
for a friendly knock. Why has there been
     none?
Why outside is the sound always of traffic,
high-pitched impersonal hard rubber?
The sunlight has been a composition in
     sunlight,
I think it poses for me like a cold model.
My whole presence here feels like
     an intrusion.
What have I stirred up to anger
that refuses to talk to me or to knock even?
What in my behavior has been offensive,
though I recall only my good humor?
When did I last speak to someone?
I cannot even recall, and may be making up
to salvage my pride this being good-natured,
for it is so distant now that it is like an echo
that I can only suspect as a distortion of
     my mind.
I must wait for a stranger, and if I have not
     in fact
been good to my friends, I will be so now
     to strangers.

_____________

 

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